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J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2011 Dec 29;30:115. doi: 10.1186/1756-9966-30-115.

Adjuvant chemotherapy for resected non-small-cell lung cancer: future perspectives for clinical research.

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Medical Oncology, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata (AOUI), Verona, Italy.


Adjuvant chemotherapy for non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is a debated issue in clinical oncology. Although it is considered a standard for resected stage II-IIIA patients according to the available guidelines, many questions are still open. Among them, it should be acknowledged that the treatment for stage IB disease has shown so far a limited (if sizable) efficacy, the role of modern radiotherapies requires to be evaluated in large prospective randomized trials and the relative impact of age and comorbidities should be weighted to assess the reliability of the trials' evidences in the context of the everyday-practice. In addition, a conclusive evidence of the best partner for cisplatin is currently awaited as well as a deeper investigation of the fading effect of chemotherapy over time. The limited survival benefit since first studies were published and the lack of reliable prognostic and predictive factors beyond pathological stage, strongly call for the identification of bio-molecular markers and classifiers to identify which patients should be treated and which drugs should be used. Given the disappointing results of targeted therapy in this setting have obscured the initial promising perspectives, a biomarker-selection approach may represent the basis of future trials exploring adjuvant treatment for resected NSCLC.

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